Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Sweet Life II

The Sweet Life (II)

This is what Ashley’s mother remembers whether through reconstructing her memory or not. Ashley was the name Ashley gave to herself when the skiing instructor asked her for her name during trip to Thredbo Ski Resort in 1999. When her mother picked her up from the ski school,  her name tag showed “Ashley” ; she  explained that she decided on the name as her real name was not easy for the instructor to get it. Like all adoring mothers, Ashley’s mother was extremely impressed with her eight year old.

Memorable Quotes by Ashley in 1994

Ashley was three years old and she  said to her mother,
“ Ashley does not know what’s sorry yet.”
Her mother was most impressed when Ashley could use phrases like these:
“OK mama. In case papa is ringing…”
And her mother was tickled when Ashley told her this:
“I don’t know whether I am hungry.” or this : “ Ash eats more to be fatter.”

When Ashley’s mother called home, Ashley answered the phone.
Her mother asked, “ Where is your sister?”
“Outside with nene”
Her mother then asked,” Why aren’t you with nene?”
Ashley replied,” Because I am talking to you on the phone.”
Ashley’s mother was very touched when Ashley told her, “Mama, you’re the best

According to Ashley’s mother’s journal this is what Ashley said in 1994

Ashley asked her mother, “Why don’t you stay home?”

Ashley told her  mother, “ You’ll come back when the sun is still here.”

Ashley told her mother, “ You must come back early.”

Ashley illustrated a mind of her own during her pre-school years:

When Ashley and her mother went shopping at Yaohan Departmentals Store, she wanted a set of dolls which her mother thought were not attractive at all so her mother told her that she had a better selection of dolls at home and those dolls were not nice.

Ashley told her mother, “ These are for me and not for you.”

Ashley’s mother must have told her that was not proper for her to answer in that manner although she was secretly impressed that her daughter had illustrated a mind of her own at a young age and hoped that she would continue to have a mind of her own when she grows up to be a young person.

Ashley’s dreamt this during her early school years :

Ashley said, “ I dreamt that I took part in storytelling competition and I could not finish with story telling.”

October 1998

After taking her school examinations at the end of the  first year in the primary school, Ashley told her mother her dream.

“I had a dream. I dreamt that someone got zero for the exam paper, I didn’t see my marks."

While it has been said that forty is the new twenty, these days teenage begins at age 10......the year was 2001

When Ashley was ten years old, one day she and her mother had this conversation.

When her mother told her to have a short bob as it was then the fashion, she said she would not like it and it could not be true because all she saw in her mother’s magazines were girls with long hair.

Memorable Quotes by Claire

The year was 1996. Claire was three years old.

When Claire was in nursery class, she was picked to be photographed to feature  in the school brochure, the photographer asked, “ Are you a teapot or a flower?”

 She answered, “ I’m Claire.”


At the poolside.

Claire did not want to swim because her hair had been nicely plaited the previous day.

Seeing that the pool was empty , her mother said to her five year old,

“Look we can have the whole pool to ourselves! Isn’t that nice? ”

“Are you sure you don’t want to swim?” Claire ’s mother asked.
“ Yes you can have the whole pool to yourself.”  Cannot fault the mother for trying
hard to persuade Claire to get into the swimming pool.
Claire changed her mind and both her mother and her had a good time swimming
across the pool before the other people started coming into the pool.
Claire said to her mom, “ It’s nice not getting people banging into you.”


 Ashley started tennis lessons, Claire said to her mother,
“ I hope the coach will not scold her, I do not want to see che che cry.”

Remark : All the grammatical errors must have been corrected when Ashley and Claire’s mother recorded the exchange in her journal. Maybe Claire spoke perfect English at age of five. That was what her mother remembered anyway.


Claire wanted to join the school trip. The school was taking the pupils  to go and visit The School for  Deaf  Children. Her mother did not approve of her joining the school trip. Claire was upset. Her sister said to her ,“If I were you, I wouldn’t wanna go as I’m afraid it would give me nightmares.”

When her mother told her  that the last time Ashley did not  get to go also ,
Claire told her mother, “ That’s why I wanna go.” 

Remark : Claire’s mother wondered if the observation was of any significance. Perhaps Claire just wanted to do things differently from her sister  or Claire simply wanted to illustrate that she was a different individual.



Claire told her mother about her dream.
“ I dream that mama has yellow hair and mama is very small. I dream that papa has brown hair and is very big. I dream that I don’t know where my house is and I draw a door and there I see my house.”


Claire was seven years old. When her mother’s tooth was bothering her so she said to Claire that she dreaded the thought of going to the dentist then she told Claire, “ You go to the dentist for check-up and that is okay.”

Claire replied, ‘ It’s not the same when you need to.”

The year was 1998, there was one time this happened. Ashley was seven years old and Claire was four going on to five.

June 1998

Both Ashley and Claire got into the lift and the lift door closed before their father entered the lift.

Ashley said, “ It’s like a dream.”

Ashley  managed to get herself and her wailing sister out of the lift as soon as the lift stopped and its door re-opened. She led her sister to the cafĂ© where her parents often took them and their dad found them there.

As protective parents, we try hard to make sure that what they do and where they go is safe. There are  times when we cannot guarantee safety and we can only instill in them the instinctive ability to  steer themselves to safety and not to act recklessly or without calculated risks.

I am constantly amazed by Ashley and Claire, their reasoning and attitude, their sense of humour and their preferences. As a working mother , I could not be there for every moment of their growth and I know that if I could do it all over again, I probably would not have done it differently. Inevitably there has to be a lot of growing that my daughters  have to do on their own. While I share my thoughts and ideas with them, I do not have too many “ things I want my daughters to know” to impart to them as too often they will have to find out for themselves and I trust that with their wit and humour, they have the courage and sensibility to tackle challenges in order to attain the goals they will be setting for themselves.

Most of us parents are the greatest fans of their children and often we treat our children with indulgence and to do so with excess or without is the question.